Anelka salute decision by end of January10 January 2014

PressureisgrowingontheFootballAssociationofEnglandtomakecleartheirpositiononthe‘quenelle’gesturemadebyNicolasAnelkaduringaPremierLeaguematch.

Anelka made the gesture, which has been popularized by a French comedian with a record of anti-semitic remarks, on the December 29 as a goal celebration.

The FA have said they will make a decision on what action to take by the end of January, a delay that has led to criticism.

Quenelle an inverted nazi salute
The quenelle is seen as an inverted Nazi salute originated by Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, a controversial comedian and politician who has been found guilty of racial hatred on seven separate occasions between 2006 and 2010.

On his twitter feed Anelka described the gesture as ‘anti-system’ and not anti-semitic. He says he made the gesture in support of his friend Dieudonne and has promised not to repeat it.

After the incident the French Sports Minister, Valérie Fourneyron, said: “Anelka’s gesture is a shocking, disgusting provocation. There is no place for anti-semitism and incitement to hatred on the football pitch.”

The president of Licra (French League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism) Alain Jakubowicz has said the quenelle signifies the “sodomisation of victims of the Holocaust”, a comment which prompted Dieudonné to launch a legal action against him.

Athletes making the salute
Since Dieudonne introduced the quenelle last year, hundreds have posted online photographs of themselves performing the gesture. Several photos showed people performing the quenelle near Jewish sites, including synagogues, Holocaust monuments and the school in Toulouse, France, where four Jews were murdered in 2012.

At least 10 other prominent French athletes have performed the quenelle in recent months. Montpellier defender Mathieu Deplagne, Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool and NBA basketball star Tony Parker have all been pictured making the salute, all have either apologized or deny anti-Semitic connotations.

OGC Nice striker Alexy Bosetti, performed the gesture on camera and then said on Twitter he was showing off his tattoo. Bosetti ended his tweet with an emoticon depicting a wink.

Rise of far-right dangerous says Fare
Piara Powar of the Fare network said: “The rise of the far right is one of the most dangerous phenomena facing Europe right now. Whether these are anti-Semites like Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, Islamophobic groups like the EDL (English Defence League) or the more usual white power street skinheads, they are active and alive in football.

“In that context alone it was wrong of Anelka to make the quenelle gesture.

“There are now rules against acts of this kind by players and Anelka will no doubt be sanctioned.

“The fact that players may have been conned into mimicking something in support of a friend makes it no less a dangerous gesture.”

The French government has taken a hard line against the quenelle in recent weeks. The interior Ministry urged cities to ban performances by Dieudonne, leading to the cancellation of the comedian’s nationwide tour that was due to begin this month.

Quenelle